KARACHI: Taking an unprecedented policy decision, Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah ordered that all the 6,000 doctors who qualified in the recent written test of the Sindh Public Service Commission (SPSC) for the selection of doctors be recruited.
The CM took the decision while presiding over a meeting to overhaul the health department to improve health services across the province and make all the hospitals, rural and urban, functional to their maximum capacity.
Health minister Dr Sikandar Mandhro, chief secretary Siddique Memon, additional chief secretary (development) Mohammad Waseem, health secretary Usman Chachar, finance secretary Hassan Naqvi, health director-general, heads of different programmes of health and other officers were present at the meeting. Briefing the chief minister, Chachar said the sanctioned staff strength in the department is 64,701, out of which 7,948 posts are lying vacant. Replying to a question, the secretary said that the health department had requisitioned 2,700 positions of doctors from the SPSC. Over 10,000 doctors that applied for the SPSC test, 6,000 passed the written test. The chief minister responded that the health department must recruit all the 6,000 doctors forthwith. He directed the chief secretary to look into the rules and remove legal issues, if any, recruit them and report to him. “This is important and I have already imposed an emergency to provide health services.”
Shah said there are credible reports that substandard medicines are being sold in the market. On this, Chachar said that the drug testing lab is not functional. When asked who the director of Drug Control Authority was, the secretary said that Dr Qaiser Abbas has the charge of chief drug inspector. The chief minister asked him how many meetings of the authority he has called and what his performance. He ordered the chief secretary to put the services of Dr Qaiser under suspension immediately. “I need selfless, efficient and hardworking workers,” he stressed. “There is no space for lethargic, unwilling and inefficient team members.”
Regarding the performance of officers and their transfer and postings, he asked the minister and health secretary to change the programme heads of various projects if they are not performing.
Healthcare in Sindh
The chief minister was told that four cases of polio have been reported during 2016 while 1,193 measles cases were reported, which claimed 14 lives. Similarly, 1,367 dengue cases were reported, in which three patients lost their lives. Only two cases of Naegleria Fowleri were reported and both the patients died.
“I am committed to eradicate polio from Sindh, for which everyone has to work with me,” he said, directing the chief secretary to arrange his meetings with all the commissioners and deputy commissioners. Showing his displeasure over the measles cases, he said these diseases have been wiped out from almost all the backward countries but our people are still suffering from them.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 8th, 2016.